Acute And Chronic Diseases

What is an Acute Disease?

A few diseases occur suddenly and last for a few days. These are known as acute diseases, such as common cold. This condition can be treated with medical treatment or on its own. Many times, acute diseases turn chronic if they continue to persist.

Acute diseases can occur throughout all body systems. For eg, the first asthma attack is acute which later turns chronic. Strep throat, broken bone, appendicitis, influenza, pneumonia, etc. are some of the acute diseases.

What is a Chronic Disease?

The diseases that occur over a period of time and last longer, or even for the lifetime are called chronic diseases. Generally, if a disease lasts for more than three years it is called a chronic disease. Initially, the symptoms are very mild. A chronic disease progresses slowly and damages the body severely. It might sometimes be fatal.

The risk factors involved in such diseases may be age, gender, an unhealthy lifestyle, etc. A chronic disease may or may not be cured by medications. It cannot be prevented by vaccines as well. Elephantiasis, Hepatitis C, HIV, arthritis, diabetes mellitus are some of the chronic diseases.

However, chronic disease can be controlled by:

  • participation in physical activity

  • healthy diet

  • no smoking

  • controlling alcohol consumption

A chronic illness is very stressful. The stress obstructs and delays your recovery.

Differences between Acute and Chronic Diseases

Acute Diseases Chronic Diseases
These diseases occur suddenly. They occur over a prolonged period.
They last for a shorter period. They last longer, even for a lifetime.
They do not cause damage to the body. They damage the body of the patient.
They are not usually fatal (however, other underlying conditions can also affect the outcome of the disease) Chronic diseases usually end up causing long term damage to organs and organ systems. In some cases, it can become fatal.
Eg., common cold, jaundice, typhoid, malaria Eg., HIV, Elephantiasis, Cancer, Tuberculosis

Key Points on Acute and Chronic Diseases

  • Acute diseases refer to the medical condition that occurs suddenly and lasts for a shorter period of time.

  • Chronic diseases develop slowly and last for a lifetime.

  • Chronic diseases are sometimes fatal.

  • Acute diseases, if it persists for a long time, can term fatal, otherwise can be treated by certain medications.

  • Common cold, typhoid, jaundice, cholera, burn, are some of the acute diseases.

  • Chronic diseases include AIDS, elephantiasis, cancer, tuberculosis, etc.

Hence, we can conclude that the chronic diseases are more dangerous than the acute diseases and need proper care, attention and research because they affect the patient mentally as well as physically.

We have discussed the acute and chronic diseases in detail. The health issue, causes, symptoms and treatments are all discussed here.

For more information on Acute and Chronic Diseases, keep visiting BYJU’S website or download the BYJU’S app for further reference.

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